PSC Oman's Al-Zubair seals first top 10 qualifying finish in Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup
PORSCHE MOBIL 1 SUPER CUP
Round 6 – Hungaroring, July 26-28, 2018
For immediate release
Saturday, July 28th, 2018
OMAN’S AL-ZUBAIR AND AL-WAHAIBI IMPRESS TO QUALIFY NINTH AND
22ND FOR PORSCHE SUPER CUP RACE AT THE HUNGARORING
· Thomas Preining claims second pole position of Porsche Super Cup season
MOGYORÓD (HUNGARY): Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and Khalid Al-Wahaibi delivered several impressive lap times in a tight qualifying session for the sixth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup at the Hungaroring on Saturday afternoon.
Al-Zubair of the Lechner Racing Team Middle East had been running as high as third position during the session and eventually qualified in ninth place with a best lap of 1min 47.732sec. The result marked his first top 10 qualifying finish in the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup.
Al-Wahaibi moved up and down the lower reaches of the top 20 during the session and was classified in 22nd place with a best run of 1min 49.225sec after changing his set-up towards the end of the qualifying period.
Thomas Preining broke the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup lap record for the Hungarian circuit with a time of 1min 46.786sec to claim his second pole position of the season. Julian Andlauer and Zaid Ashkanani rounded off the top three positions.
Al-Zubair said: “We did a really good job. P8 on the first set of tyres and P9 on the second one. With a grid like this we can definitely be very happy. This is my first top 10 in qualifying. It should be a quite steady race.”
Al-Wahaibi added: “I think we started off with the wrong set-up. I struggled on the first set of tyres. I told the team I was coming in to make a change and, once we went back to yesterday’s set-up, it was a lot better. I only had five minutes and one flying lap to do it. I think with my lack of experience I am still learning and I need a few more laps. Today could have been quite a lot better. Hopefully we can do well in the race.”
Tom Sharp set the early target time in the qualifying session on the 4.381km circuit with a lap of 1min 49.395sec but that was soon overhauled by Dylan Pereira’s run of 1min 48.330sec and Mattia Drudi’s 1min 47.960sec tour.
Several drivers received a penalty for exceeding track limits during Friday afternoon’s training session and were only permitted on to the circuit between six and nine minutes into qualifying.
Al-Wahaibi opened his account with a 1min 50.021sec to hold 10th position with 18 minutes of the session remaining. Al-Zubair then posted a flying run of 1min 48.216sec to storm into third position until he was passed by series leader Michael Ammermüller.
Preining went fastest with a 1min 47.400sec and subsequent lap times pushed the Omani duo down to sixth and 18th with 16 minutes to run. Al-Wahaibi then improved to 16th with a 1min 49.501sec run.
With 10 minutes to run, Preining led from Monaco and Hockenheim race winner Yelloly and Barcelona winner Ammermüller and Al-Zubair and Al-Wahaibi were eighth and 21st of the 28 qualifiers.
The top five remained unchanged with five minutes to run and both Al-Zubair and Al-Wahaibi still occupied eighth and 21st, but Al-Zubair was pushed down to ninth by Gustav Malja and Al-Wahaibi improved to 18th with a run of 1min 49.225sec.
Kuwait’s Zaid Ashkanani leapt into second place behind Preining and pushed Yelloly down to third place. Julian Andlauer then set a new lap record of 1min 47.105sec to claim provisional pole with a little over a minute remaining. But Preining ran even quicker with a session-winning time of 1min 46.786sec.
Preining held on to claim a second pole position of the season, followed by Andlauer and Ashkanani. Series leader Ammermüller was down in eighth place and Al-Zubair and Al-Wahaibi qualified in ninth and 22nd.
Thomas Preining won the practice session on Friday afternoon with a lap of 1min 47.358sec during his 16 laps on the circuit. Mattia Drudi and Julian Andlauer were second and third, while Al-Zubair and Al-Wahaibi slotted into impressive 11th and 15th places with best laps of 1min 48.460sec and 1min 48.966sec, respectively.
The sixth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Super Cup gets underway at 11.35hrs on Sunday.
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